Sunday, May 19, 2013

Simple Chicken Sausage Soup and Weekend Guest Fun

Hi and happy Sunday night! Did you have a good weekend? It was nice and sunny in San Francisco and we had some friends in town so we managed to soak up lots of sun while wandering around the city.  We got in some hiking, a fun action movie and of course lots of eating and drinking hitting up two of our favorite restaurants, Limon and Slow Club.  On Saturday we wanted to start the day with a leisurely hike so we followed the directions of last week's Weekend Sherpa email about Ring Mountain in Marin and it was perfect for our group of four.  After the hike we drove over to Andy's Market in San Rafael to stock up on sandwiches, salad and wine for a picnic at China Camp State park. I can't think of many better ways to spend an afternoon; I would definitely recommend this little hike/picnic pairing.

View from our Hike

Today our guests left around 3 and I was eager to do a little cooking to get in a healthy dinner to start the week off.   I attempted to make a version of a flavorful soup my aunt had made the last time I visited and it turned out extremely easy and very yummy.  Nic and I both liked it a lot and it was so simple I'm sure I'll be making it a regular addition to our rotating list of weekday favorites.  The below makes about 4 big bowlfuls. Enjoy!

Chicken Sausage and Spinach Pasta Soup

1 cup or a little less chopped onions
2 italian style natural chicken sausages (I like applegate brand)
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup raw whole wheat pasta (I used little fusilli)
2 handfuls raw spinach roughly chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

-Put a large pot or le creuset type thing on the stove top over medium heat and spray with Pam.
-Put in onions and season with a little salt and pepper and a little of the italian seasoning. Saute for a couple minutes until they are starting to soften.
-Add the chicken sausages and saute for a minute and then add the canned tomatoes and the chicken broth
-Add in all the italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and the bay leaf and mix.
-Bring to a boil and add the pasta.
-Let cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes - until pasta is done and flavors are strong. You can let it simmer for a little longer and add more seasoning to taste.
- Just before serving, while heat is still on toss in the spinach and mix up.  
-Serve and put out parmesan cheese so people can add a spoonful if desired!

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